YSM composers win American Academy of Arts and Letters awards

Hilary Purrington

Three YSM alumni composers and one current student have received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the organization announced last month. Awardees were selected by a committee of Academy members including Yehudi Wyner ’50BA ’52BM ’53MM, Martin Boykan ’53MM, YSM faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis, Samuel Adler, Sebastian Currier, Stephen Jaffe, Tobias Picker, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Sixteen composers in all received awards this year from the Academy.

Carl Schimmel ’99MM earned a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, which is awarded to two composers each year. The fellowship, which comes with a $15,000 prize, was created in 1978 with an endowment from the CBS Foundation in memory the former Columbia Records president, who had died a year earlier.

Andrew Norman ’09AD received a $10,000 Arts and Letters Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement. The Academy established the award in 1941 to encourage creative work in the arts. Each year, five artists, eight authors, four composers, and four architects receive the prize. Composers receive an additional $10,000 to facilitate a recording of their work.

Katherine Balch ’16MM and current YSM student Hilary Purrington ’17MMA each received a $7,500 Charles Ives Scholarship, which is given to composition students of “great promise.” The scholarship was created when Ives’ widow, Harmony Ives, bequeathed the royalties from her husband’s music to the Academy of Arts and Letters. Two fellowships of $15,000 and six scholarships of $7,500 are awarded each year to composers.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 to “foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts,” according to language on the organization’s website. Each year, the Academy honors more than 50 composers, artists, architects, and writers with cash awards ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. The Academy also presents exhibitions of art, architecture, and manuscripts and organizes readings of new musicals.

CARL SCHIMMEL
ANDREW NORMAN
KATHERINE BALCH
HILARY PURRINGTON
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

Published April 6, 2017
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Domenic Salerni joins Dalí Quartet and wins silver in the M-Prize Competition

Salerni

Domenic Salerni

Domenic Salerni ’11 MM has been appointed first violinist of the Dalí Quartet, an ensemble that is known particularly for its excellence in Latin-American repertoire.

Furthermore, as a part of the septet Foundry, Salerni and YSM alumni Ian Rosenbaum ’10 MM ’11 AD, Andy Akiho ’11 MM, and Samuel Suggs ’14 MM, won second prize in the M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition in the open division. Foundry is an ensemble that crosses and transcends genres, innovating new sounds through the synthesis of contemporary classical techniques and jazz, reggae, Caribbean, and Soca.  The M-Prize Competition (through the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance) awarded Foundry $7000.

THE FOUNDRY
DALI QUARTET
MORE

Published June 28, 2016
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[ students & alumni ]

Natalie Dietterich wins ASCAP Morton Gould Award

Natalie Dietterich

Natalie Dietterich

Natalie Dietterich ’16 MM, has been named one of the receipients of the 2016 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. In addition to being recognized as one of this year’s winners, Dietterich is also the recipient of the Leo Kaplan Award, which was instituted in memory of the distinguished attorney who served as ASCAP Special Distribution Advisor.

Congratulating the Award recipients, Paul Williams said, “These gifted young composers ranging in age from 14 to 30 represent the bright future of American concert music. We congratulate them and extend our great appreciation to the dedicated panel of ASCAP members who selected the winners from over 700 submissions.” The composers will be recognized at the annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards event in September. MORE

Published April 19, 2016
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[ faculty in the press ]

Willie Ruff is called a “legend in his own time” at Arts Council Awards

ruff-willie_artscouncilawardZip06.com | By Amy J. Barry, Correspondent

Willie Ruff, a world-renowned jazz musician and educator who has lived in Branford for more than 30 years, is a “legend in his own time,” says Cynthia Clair, the executive director of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.

During the Arts Council’s annual awards ceremony earlier this month at the New Haven Lawn Club, where Ruff was the recipient of the C. Newton Schenck III Award for Lifetime Achievement in and Contribution to the Arts, Clair pointed out that Ruff, who attended Yale School of Music as an undergraduate after serving in the Army, performed internationally for 50 years with the late pianist Dwike Mitchell. The duo shared the stage with such jazz icons as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sarah Vaughan and is credited with bringing jazz to new audiences around the world, most notably in the Soviet Union in 1959 and China in 1989.

“Among the many things I find fascinating is Willie speaks seven languages,” Clair says. “And he brought the jazz greats of our time to New Haven over the past 30 years. Through the Duke Ellington Fellowship [that he established], he not only introduced them to New Haven audiences, but took them into New Haven Schools.” MORE

Published December 18, 2015
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[ in the press ]

YDN: Jazz pioneer receives lifetime achievement award

Photo by Harold Shapiro

Photo by Harold Shapiro

Yale Daily News | By Maya Chandra

Yale School of Music professor Willie Ruff ’53 YSM ’54 was presented with the C. Newton Schenck III Award for Lifetime Achievement award at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven Friday.

Arts Council Executive Director Cindy Clair said Ruff’s national prominence as a jazz figure, his lengthy teaching career and his work with the Duke Ellington Fellowship program — an initiative that brings world-renowned jazz musicians to Yale and New Haven Public Schools -— made him an excellent candidate for the award at the Arts Council’s annual Art Awards Luncheon this past weekend.

Ruff, who played the French horn and double bass alongside pianist Dwight Mitchell for more than 50 years, accompanied Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie and other world-famous jazz musicians throughout his roughly 60-year career. But despite rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in jazz and being a leader in the genre, Ruff, who joined the Yale faculty in 1971, remains down-to-earth and high spirited. MORE

Published December 7, 2015
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[ in the press ]

Willie Ruff among Greater New Haven Arts Council honorees

Willie Ruff

Willie Ruff

New Haven Register | By Joe Amarante

There’s something special about the art of Susan Clinard, who is quick to point out that there’s something very special about art in general — as a powerful tool for self- and world-awareness. Wood sculptor Clinard, who has created a notable body of work in her artist residency at Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop, will be one of six people and organizations honored at the annual Arts Council of Greater New Haven Awards and Luncheon Dec. 4 at the New Haven Lawn Club.[…]

The Arts Council has been host to the annual Arts Awards for three-plus decades. And speaking of long commitments, the C. Newton Schenck III Award for Lifetime Achievement (and Contributions to the Arts) will go to Willie Ruff, an accomplished and Yale-educated jazz musician who has also served the community as an educator at Yale, writer (about classical composer Paul Hindemith, who was a teacher of his at Yale, and about his experiences with jazz composers Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn) and ambassador (his Mitchell-Ruff Duo was the first jazz band to play in the Soviet Union and China). MORE

Published December 1, 2015
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[ students + alumni ]

Ian Tuski honored with Yale-Jefferson Public Service Award

Tuski teaches in the New Haven Public Schools

Tuski teaches in the New Haven Public Schools

Ian Tuski ’15 MM is to be honored with a Yale-Jefferson Public Service Award. The awards recognize those who inspire the Yale community through innovative, effective, and sustained service for the greater good.

The Yale-Jefferson Public Service Awards were launched in 2012 by the Association of Yale Alumni, Students and Alumni of Yale (STAY), and the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. Three awards are now given each year: one to a Yale undergraduate, one to a graduate/professional student, and one to an alumnus. MORE

Published November 19, 2015
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[ music in schools ]

Yale recognizes Music in Schools Initiative with Linda K. Lorimer Award

2015.10.28 LKL AwardOn Oct. 28, President Salovey and Linda K. Lorimer presented 35 Yale staff members representing nine key initiatives with the Linda K. Lorimer Award for staff excellence and distinguished service to the university.

Salovey noted that the employees’ unique and important contributions represent the true sprit of Yale: innovation, leadership, teamwork, commitment, and exemplary service.

The staff members of the School of Music’s Music in Schools Initiative — Michael Yaffe, Rubén Rodríguez, and Kate Gonzales — received the award for their work connecting Yale with the New Haven community. The President’s citation reads:

By teaming to develop the innovative Music in Schools Program, they have reinforced Yale’s connections with the New Haven community and earned us national recognition for this model of cultural leadership.

In his letter of nomination, Dean Blocker said that –

The evolution of this venture, especially under the watchful eyes of Michael, Rubén, and Kate, has been extraordinary. And the enthusiasm, hope, and joy seen in these children and their families have united the many diverse populations of New Haven. In the closing concert of the Morse Academy this summer, Sprague Hall was almost filled to capacity with parents and friends who only two or three years earlier had not entered the campus, certainly not to see their children on an international stage.

Read the full list of 2015 Linda K. Lorimer Award winners here.

Published November 3, 2015
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[ students + alumni ]

Charles Richard-Hamelin wins silver in Chopin Competition

charles-richard-hamelinCanadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin won silver at the prestigious 17th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland. He also won the prize for the best performance of a sonata.

First place went to Seong-Jin Cho of South Korea; American Kate Liu took third.

This year’s competition featured over 75 young pianists from 20 different countries. During the three weeks of the competition, the pianists played only Chopin’s works before a 17-member international jury.

In its 88-year history, the Chopin competition has gained a reputation as one of the world’s top piano events, opening international careers to young pianists. MORE

Published October 21, 2015
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